Perennial, Herbs, Stems woody below, or from woody crow n or caudex, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems less than 1 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules inconspicuous, absent, or caducous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Leaves simple, or appearing so, Leaves pinnately 3-foliolate, Leaves odd pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Stipels present at base of leaflets, Leaflets 1, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence panicles, Inflorescence axillary, Inflorescence terminal, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Bracteoles present, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 2-lipped or 2-lobed, Calyx hairy, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal ovoid or obovate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Fruit a loment, jointed, separating into articles, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit indehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit compressed between seeds, Fruit hairy, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seeds reniform, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
Dr. David Bolger, USDA PLANTS, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennials, to 1 m tall, stems erect or ascending, solid, woody below or from a woody crown or caudex, surfaces of stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, plants with taproots and nodules. Leaves: Alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate, odd pinnate, or rarely simple or appearing so, leaflets opposite, margins entire, surfaces glabrous or nearly so, or hairy on one or both surfaces, blades petiolate, stipules present, absent, or inconspicuous at base of leaflets, green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, sometimes caducous (falling early) or deciduous. Flowers: Blue, lavender to purple, or violet, zygomorphic, papilionaceous, petals clawed, banner petals ovoid or obovate, wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, wing tips obtuse or rounded, keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, calyx 2-lipped or 2-lobed, hairy, stamens 9-10, diadelphous, with 9 united and 1 free, filaments glabrous, styles terete, bracts very small, absent or caducous, bracteoles present, inflorescences of axillary or terminal racemes or panicles. Fruits: Loments, jointed, separating into articles, stipitate, unilocular, indehiscent, elongate, straight, exserted from calyx, compressed between seeds, hairy, 3-10 seeded. Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, reniform, surfaces smooth, olive, brown, or black in Ecology: Found around 3,500 ft (1067 m); flowering August-October. Distribution: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas; Mexico. Notes: Distinguished from all other Desmodium by its lack of trifoliate leaves, this plant has simple leaves instead. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses; infusion of plant taken to cause vomiting for bad lung cold. Etymology: Unknown. Synonyms: Desmodium wrightii, Meibomia psilophylla Editor: LCrumbacher2012